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12 July 2024

Atlantis Dubai Plots Global Expansion to Cash In on Travel Boom

Published
By Bloomberg

Dubai’s Atlantis is looking to build as many as four additional hotels across the world, hoping to cash in on a leisure travel boom that’s so far proved resistant to concerns over inflation and a darkening economic outlook.

“We’re very interested in growth and looking at a lot of different markets and opportunities,” Timothy Kelly, Managing Director of Atlantis Dubai said in a recent interview. “We’re hoping this year to earmark a couple of deals,” he said, adding that the company is looking at Southeast Asia, the Middle East and North America.

The comments come amid a sustained rebound in leisure travel that’s boosted prices for everything from plane tickets to hotels and rental cars. Results from Booking Holdings Inc. and Expedia Group Inc. to Royal Caribbean Cruises and TUI AG point to consumers’ willingness to continue spending on services and experiences even if they’re paring back on physical goods.

Atlantis Hotels, owned by Dubai’s sovereign wealth fund, operates two large properties in the emirate and one in Hainan, China. Its hotels include the recently opened $1.5 billion Atlantis The Royal, where the top suite can go for $100,000 a night.
 Atlantis The Royal on the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai.

Demand for rooms in that hotel — the first under the ultra-luxury brand, Atlantis The Royal — is strong. With about 80% of the rooms open to guests, Kelly said the new hotel’s occupancy rate has been “near 80%” while the average daily rate is $1,200, he added.

“There’s also great interest, which we never really imagined in Atlantis The Royal,” he said. “And so we’re actually fielding calls from investors that really are more interested in the Atlantis The Royal brand than Atlantis The Palm brand.”

Kelly said Atlantis typically invests in cities along with partners to reduce the risk for projects that can cost about $2 billion to build and as long as five years to construct and establish. Florida sits at the top of the list of cities where the hotel chain would like to build a coastal property.

“We don’t want to go out and finance billions of dollars and build,” Kelly said. Still, “we definitely want to have a portion of the ownership because we want to have a say, and we want to be engaged in its success, and we want to manage it.”